Are green potatoes safe to eat ?

Are green potatoes poisonous ? Yes !  Here’s an explanation.

Potatoes that are green or have green patches and also sprouting potatoes contain a poison called solanine. The green colouring indicates that solanine is present. Cutting the green parts off will not remove the poison. Cutting off the sprouts from a potato will also not remove the poison. This is because the poison is present throughout the potato tuber. The green colouring and the sprouting parts merely indicate that the poison is there.

Potatoes belong to the same family as deadly nightshade, henbane and tomatoes. All parts of the tomato are poisonous except the fruit i.e. the tomato itself. Solanine affects the central nervous system and can cause paralysis as well as vomiting and fever.

It is unlikely that eating a small amount of potato containing the poison would make a healthy adult ill but it could badly affect a small child.

So, do not cut the green or sprouting bits off the potatoes. You will not be removing the poison. Throw them away instead.

To prevent potatoes sprouting or becoming green they should be kept in a cool, dark place. Dry, unwashed, old potatoes can often be kept for some weeks under the correct conditions. New potatoes do not last nearly so long and it may be better to keep them in the fridge during warm weather.

Check out the advice from the Food Standards Agency

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